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Red Hat Software Businesses

Alan Cox Leaves Red Hat 163

ruphus13 writes "Alan Cox — one of the lead Linux kernel developers at Red Hat — is leaving the company after 10 years and is heading to Intel, where he can focus on more low-level development tasks. Some are speculating whether this is indicative of a shift to a more 'application-centric' vision at Red Hat. From the article: 'Red Hat is integrating more application related, user- and enterprise-centric tools into its well-established "low-level," "core" development and support tools. It'd be more worrisome if Red Hat neglected to strike out in this direction. Cox was with Red Hat for ten years, and regardless of any suspected change of course within the company, that's a fair amount of time.'"
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Alan Cox Leaves Red Hat

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  • Higher salary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:44PM (#26268761)

    If he gets a higher salary, why not? People have been motivated for less.

  • Re:Higher salary? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:50PM (#26268809)

    Maybe because everything isn't about money?

  • Re:Hmm. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by loftwyr ( 36717 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:53PM (#26268853)

    Alan Cox decides what he works on. He'll have more access to Intel hardware and specifications but Intel has no chance on directing his work.

    There are a lot of companies that would jump to have him work for them. If Intel tells him something he doesn't like, he could leave at his whim to one of them.

  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:04PM (#26268957) Journal

    When you look at it, Red Hat is the wrong place to develop drivers. They should be developed by the vendors of the drivers, not the O/S packager.

    It has been necessary so far to develop drivers at Red Hat simply to bootstrap the O/S. But now, Linux is becoming more popular every year, most enterprises have plans to deploy Linux in annually increasing scopes, and the "upward spiral" that Bill Gates (ghost-)wrote about 10 years ago in "The Road Ahead" is happening for the GNU/Linux system.

    Red Hat doesn't develop devices. Device vendors develop devices, and it's their expertise in how their own devices function that makes them best qualified to write device drivers for the whatever O/S.

    This move is really more a reflection of the continuing maturity of the Linux Operating System!

  • Re:Higher salary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JCSoRocks ( 1142053 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:18PM (#26269093)
    Seriously. I've known plenty of people that have stepped out of high paid positions to go work someplace where they'll have more fun. If you're making 6 figures but you spend 10 hours a day hating everything, what's the point? There's no reason not to just make less doing something you actually enjoy.
  • Re:Hmm. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:28PM (#26269177)

    I doubt Intel would be too hurt by his departure either. You greatly over-estimate how important he probably is to Intel. He'll likely do what they ask; he is being paid by them, you know? Unless you think he's some kind of unprofesional crybaby..

  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:38PM (#26269279)

    The American cultural system would collapse

    Choose one of:

    A) What is this American culture you are speaking of?

    B) You say that, as if it were a bad thing...

  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:51PM (#26269409)

    That's good money in this economy.

    It's decent money (well, until inflation rears its ugly head soon, which it may or may not do), but it's not great. But the bad thing about it, as the previous poster noted, is that it's not much more than the average bumbler gets. In engineering, it's pretty easy to get $80-90k with relatively little experience, or with a not-so-great track record of performance, just by moving around a little. If you're a star performer, in fact, you'd be lucky to get raises sufficient to make much more than new hires who left their previous job because they didn't get any raises (i.e. not great performers), and the new company wants to pay them "market rate". Typically, you'll only match the new hires with your raises. So what, exactly, is the incentive to be a star performer? There is none. You can be a total slacker instead, just change jobs every few years, and do just as well as the guys putting in 90 hours/week and doing the work of several lesser engineers.

    It is the case although nurses and those close to patients know more about the patient than the doctors, and doctors normally go by nurse's opinions. I guess it comes with the territory.

    What from I read and hear from family who used to be in the health-care field, nurses have so much trouble with being underappreciated and underpaid and overworked (such as being ordered to lift 300lb patients), that there aren't that many people willing to go into that field any more (just like engineering). As a result, hospitals are desperate to hire nurses, but of course they're not willing to raise their pay.

  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @02:09PM (#26269571)

    When you look at it, Red Hat is the wrong place to develop drivers. They should be developed by the vendors of the drivers, not the O/S packager. ... This move is really more a reflection of the continuing maturity of the Linux Operating System!

    God help us if linux gets as, ahem, MATURE as Windows. Microsoft's crappy OS code is only exceeded by the unbelievably crappy driver code turned out by OEMs.

    Tracking down (bug-ridden) drivers for everything is the single factor that makes Windows' out of box experience a living Hell (And accepting them only on floppies is the single factor that will eventually kill off XP).

    The contrast with linux is eye opening to former benighted Windows users. Not only are all your drivers right there, but all the apps you need are a (free) click away.

    Anyway, it's not OS packegers who develop linux drivers; its kernel developers - who are exactly the people with the skills to do the best job.

  • Re:At last... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @02:52PM (#26270023)

    Could you format your troll post properly next time? I wouldn't have read that block of text even if it was +5 informative.

  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @03:06PM (#26270177) Journal

    In Windows' case, the drivers are binary.

    But in the Linux world, they will be (already are) largely open source. If a vendor puts out a crappy driver, people who know better can submit patches, and people who don't know will quickly learn who to avoid.

  • by McPierce ( 259936 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @07:05PM (#26273359) Homepage

    And as a Red Hat employee, I can say that Alan's leaving isn't a signal that anything's amiss at Red Hat. Quite the contrary, actually. Alan's not going to leave behind Linux: he's going to continue that with someone else signing his pay check. And by working for Intel he's going to get to work on future hardware sooner.

    For my job I deal with some upcoming hardware that requires someone like Alan getting to it before I even touch it, since a working kernel would make my job easier.

  • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @10:07PM (#26275065) Homepage Journal

    For that matter, why should Red Hat fund development on the sorts of thing that Alan Cox works on, if hardware vendors are willing to fund it? Intel can even get developers internal documentation and (most importantly) face time with hardware designers who can explain things that they didn't think to document (or that they documented in a huge specification that's too big to find the little detail in).

    There's no reason for Red Hat to have a collection of kernel developers working on stuff that Red Hat doesn't need more than anybody else does.

  • by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <daengbo.gmail@com> on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:10AM (#26276671) Homepage Journal

    Sigh ... I still (vaguely) remember when running the 2.2-ac kernel [kernel.org] on RH was basically required to get useful hardware support and modern features. It was pretty much the standard one to use.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.